Many people will guess fast food with all of the $1 menu items out on the market these days. The truth is, home cooked meals are actually cheaper per serving than even $1 items. Since the US is incredibly money driven and we now know it isn't economical to eat fast food, what are some other reasons why people stop for fast food and how can we break the cycle?
When was the last time you stopped to plan a meal and cooked it. A meal with more to it than boil water, add noodles, drain, add sauce? People don't take the time to cook anymore. Family and individuals are incredibly out of practice. Cooking at home is something our mothers did in the 50's, now we all work a million hours a week and don't have time to cook.
The reality is, cooking doesn't have to be as scary or hard as it seems, two other reasons why people don't cook. All it takes is a little planning and education and you can be on your way to making amazing meals for you and your loved ones that are more affordable than the local drive thru.
First things first, get in the kitchen and experiment. Try new recipes, blend spices that you know you like, and give it a whirl. Practice makes perfect. Sure you will probably have a dud or two from time to time, (I just had one today) but you will undoubtedly come across quite a few more than you love or that become staples around your house.
If you are still feeling shy in the kitchen, hire some help. There are plenty of cooking classes, local chefs, cooking groups and resources to help you feel more comfortable in the kitchen. Look for classes that interest you, such as beef prep classes, or vegetarian asian dishes. Depending on where you live, there are classes every single week.
Organization will be helpful as well. Personally, I try to cook or prep a few dishes on Sundays. It is the only day when I don't train a single client. If I plan things out correctly, I can make two or three dishes in a 2-3 hour time frame that will last us for at least the first half of the week. Knowing that I have food in the fridge ready to be heated, makes it much easier for me to resist eating out or eating something I shouldn't when I get home at 9:30pm after 10 hours with clients. Being prepared and ready won't only help you save some money, it make save your life.
Whatever your reason for not cooking at home, make a resolution to cut back on eating out, not just fast food, but all eating out and take control of your life and your future through the food you put in your body. Remember food is your body's fuel, and if you fill the take with highly proccessed fatty foods, you can't expect optimum performance.
Below are some resources to help you break the slow food cycle.